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Ask Steve Wozniak Anything 612

He co-founded Apple Computer, he's a programmer and engineer who invented the Apple I and Apple II computers, he's one of our most influential readers, he is known simply as Woz. To kick-off our 15th anniversary month, Woz has agreed to take some time to answer a few of your questions; as with other Slashdot interviews, you're invited to ask as many questions as you'd like, but please ask them in separate posts. We'll be running a number of other special interviews this month, so keep your eyes open.
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Ask Steve Wozniak Anything

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  • Thank You (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 01, 2012 @12:34PM (#41514501)

    Steve, I just want to say THANK YOU.

    All of your effort and time have created a lot very productive and exciting products. I dare to think that life would be less exciting without your effort.

  • by concealment ( 2447304 ) on Monday October 01, 2012 @12:37PM (#41514567) Homepage Journal

    Computers are fast, reliable and use UNIX-like operating systems or near analogues. Not only that, but this technology is now getting embedded in every gadget we own.

    What is the next frontier? Will it be technological, social, or legal? Or will it be tangential technological issues like interface design, interoperability, or privacy, that aren't necessarily new technologies so much as new configurations of existing technology?

  • A simple questin (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jeng ( 926980 ) on Monday October 01, 2012 @12:48PM (#41514763)

    What makes you happy?

  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Monday October 01, 2012 @12:48PM (#41514767) Journal

    Is /. telling me to switch to Linux? Because my Linux box is downstairs, and I'm lazy.

    Stairs are no match for SSH.

  • by SteveWoz ( 152247 ) on Monday October 01, 2012 @02:23PM (#41516111) Homepage

    I always think first and foremost as a technology consumer and lover. Like all of us who appreciate the quality of Apple products, I have mixed feelings. I grew up with core values of openness and sharing of technology. When I ran dial-a-joke it was illegal to own, use or purchase your own telephone or answering machine. You couldn't connect anything to the phone jack except that which you leased from AT&T. You had little choice and there was no room for outside innovators. We techies all said this was a bad thing. You probably see the parallel.

    Let's look at Apple. Apple's real rise from the small market-share Macintosh company to the iProducts of today began with iTunes and the iPod. This turned out to be a 2nd huge business which roughly doubled Apple's 'size'. If you remember, we ported iTunes to Windows. We now addressed 100% of the world's market with this integrated system (iPod/iTunes) and it began the era of Apple that we are now in. So why don't we port iTunes to Android? Did something get closed up? I love Apple products and iTunes and wish it were on my Android products too.

    I don't have time to get into this far because I'm in the middle of 5 conference calls today and have a ton of engineering submissions to judge for an award and some iPhones to exchange so I'm sorry if things are going slowly here on Slashdot.

  • Re:Endorse Obama (Score:4, Insightful)

    by vlm ( 69642 ) on Monday October 01, 2012 @02:38PM (#41516299)

    Why don't you endorse President Obama? (Granted he's not perfect, but the alternative --being ruled by the "modern" republican party is insane.)

    Do it.

    False dichotomy. I'd rather see him endorse Gary Johnson.

  • Re:Education (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SteveWoz ( 152247 ) on Monday October 01, 2012 @03:18PM (#41516849) Homepage

    The sort of recommendations you hear are often about teaching procedures and outstanding teachers and alternate education approaches. But these recommendations have been the same for hundreds of years so they won't achieve the real change.

    Computers offered a real change in the tools of the classroom, but they don't seem to have changed much. The learning is the same, only done via computers, for the most part. I had hoped for more.

    I do want to feel a part of the big improvement someday, so I hope that there is some further step with computers. That would be when a computer becomes conscious and caring and becomes the best friend that each student wants to be with. It will look at their faces and speak the way that particular student likes and be a good friend more than a teacher.

    One thing that has not changed over time in education is that we all, in a class, get the same material presentation together. The same pages as everyone else on Monday, the same pages on Tuesday, etc. Individuals as we are, we have different lapses along the way. A teacher could back up and explain something to fill in a gap, but each of the 30 students has different 'gaps'. The solution will be the equivalent of one teacher per student.

    This opens the door to a student choosing to get only straight A's, and only studying subjects they want to. And there will be more room to teach thinking and creativity and not all the same answer, which is not even their own answer, but out of a book. It's a brave step, but right.

    I learned the capital cities of all 50 states. How could anyone in life ever need to know such a worthless thing. The only worth is to show you can memorize it. But today it gets turned into a grade and a determination of what intelligence is. We have to break from that paradigm but can't with today's 30-student classes. Or should I say "day care?"

    Schools are short of money because students don't get a vote and votes turn into money. It's a bad consequence of finding education to be a right and that means it has to be supplied by government. Government money follows votes. A family of 5 gets no more votes than a family of 2. Which wants the better school? But the votes by families of 2 are against more money for schools.

  • by Clsid ( 564627 ) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @02:00AM (#41522069)

    You get a chance to exchange words with somebody like Steve Wozniak and all you can do is ramble like this? If you are a fandroid enjoy your phone and be happy, and stop making a fool out of yourself in the process.

All science is either physics or stamp collecting. -- Ernest Rutherford